Starting a new company is extremely hard, which is probably why most businesses fail within the first couple of years.

Challenges such as marketing and hiring the right staff are some of the major issues that even good managers struggle with.

Launching a new website is just as hard and, as if things weren't difficult enough, Google gives people an extra hurdle which is sometimes called the "sandbox".

When you launch a new site, Google doesn't trust it at all. Even if the BBC launched a new site it would start off without any trust and would receive very little traffic.

As the site attracts links from other sites, it gradually earns enough trust to start ranking for some long tail search terms.

If the site gains enough trusted links it may start to rank highly for competitive keywords (ie keywords with lots of PPC advertisers) but this can take up to 24 months.

You are probably thinking that this is a harsh move by Google, but with the sheer volume of sites being launched it needs to have some method of making sure only the really good ones reach the top.

Luckily you can follow a few simple tips to reach the top quicker.

1. Your first links
When you launch your brand new site the first few links can make all the difference. Linking to it from other trusted sites right out of the gate can dramatically shorten the time it takes to build trust. Conversely, starting a site off with low quality links is suicide.

Submit to a couple of trusted directories such as and the Yahoo! Directory and maybe link to the site from some of your other company's websites (link from the news sections to appear more natural).

2. Spin-off sites
Sometimes a new site is a spin-off from a particular section of an existing site. For example, a car insurance site might have a caravan insurance section but then decide to launch a dedicated caravan insurance website.

In this case, the best method would be to create the new site on the new domain and not allow Google to access it. Then once the site was ready you would 301 redirect the old pages to the new pages and hope that the rankings and trust from the old domain passed across.

3. Building trust
Most people try to get relevant links to their sites, which are great for improving rankings in a particular niche but not quite as good for building trust. The ideal links for building trust are from major blogs and news sites.

These can also be quite relevant as usually the article linking to you is related to your niche - even though the rest of the site isn't.

Sites that receive a lot of attention from the mainstream press almost always start ranking a lot more quickly than sites that don't have the benefit of a large PR budget.


Related research: SEO Best Practice Guide



Published 28 January, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

55 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (3)



Its good for a new site to try and get links from authoritative sites within their own vetical/topic. For some sites (eretail) its probably worth budgeting in a period of about 3 months where most of the traffic will come from paid sources eg PPC.

over 10 years ago



Although external links are important, making sure your website has enough internal links, quality content and keywords is vital too. This will give you an immediate edge and will help you to gain rankings for niche keywords before you've even started your external backlinks strategy.

Creating a good internal linking structure will help you rise above your competitors. Link all pages with a similar topic together so that the search engines move from one page to another and find similar types of keywords/topics on each.

Create your site with the most important keywords in the H1, H2 and H3 tags on each page as well as in the body. This will give the search engines a sense of priority of the topics on each page and rank you above another page that did not have these in place, all else being equal.

Spend quality time thinking about what the most important keywords are for each page. Use a dictionary, thesaurus, keyword tools and anything else that will give you unique content.

In my opinion one of the best things you can do to get your new site ranking and to keep it there is to add lots of fresh content. I would recommend at least 3 new pages a week but if possible try adding new pages daily. Google will love your site and will crawl it far more often than some of your competitors.

The above advice of course will not get you into the top 10 on hugely competitive phrases but will give you a great head start and at least give you some traffic. Now go out and get some external backlinks, which will increase the positions you already have and get you in the running for those competitive terms.

over 10 years ago


Mike Knight, MD at MKLINK

Re the Google sandbox - I've heard you can get it blasted out and live faster if you get linked from a high page rank site straight away!

Mike Knight.

over 10 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.